President Trump on Friday said his presumptive Democratic challenger Joe Biden “is no longer worthy of the Black Vote,” after the former vice president made comments contrasting African American and Latino diversity.
“After yesterday’s statement, Sleepy Joe Biden is no longer worthy of the Black Vote!” Trump tweeted Friday morning.
Earlier Friday, Trump tweeted: “Sleepy Joe Biden just lost the Black Vote. This statement is a disaster from which there is no recovery!”
The president then deleted the tweet and replaced it with the new one.
In both tweets, the president was referring to Biden’s remarks during an interview that aired at the convention of the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
During the interview, Biden was pressed over whether he would “re-engage” with Cuba as president—something the interviewer noted would have an impact on Cuban-American voters in Florida.
“Yes, yes,” Biden responded. “And by the way, what you all know, but most people don’t know, unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things.”
He elaborated, “You go to Florida, you find a very different attitude about immigration in certain places than you do when you’re in Arizona, so it’s a very diverse community.”
Biden, later Thursday night, attempted to walk back the comments.
“Earlier today, I made some comments about diversity in the African American and Latino communities that I want to clarify,” Biden wrote on Twitter. ”In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith—not by identity, not on issues, not at all.
“Throughout my career,” he continued, “I’ve witnessed the diversity of thought, background, and sentiment within the African American community. It’s this diversity that makes our workplaces, communities, and country a better place. My commitment to you is this: I will always listen, I will never stop fighting for the African American community and I will never stop fighting for a more equitable future.”
Also this week, Biden raised eyebrows in an interview with CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett over whether he has taken a cognitive test.
“No, I haven’t taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test? Come on, man. That’s like saying you, before you got on this program, you take a test where you’re taking cocaine or not. What do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?” Biden told Barnett, who is Black.
Both sets of remarks were blasted by critics, including President Trump, who said Biden’s comments “totally disparaged and insulted the Black community.”
Despite the controversies, Biden has long had strong support in the African-American community. Fox News polling in July showed him at 78 percent to Trump’s 14 percent among Black voters, with Trump’s approval among them at just 19 percent.